Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, facing charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on May 25, was released from jail on bail yesterday. He was released after posting a $1 million bond, and soon after, protestors in Minneapolis took to the streets.
Hundreds of protestors were present at both E 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, near the scene of Floyd’s arrest and assault in Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct. They were ordered to leave the area around 10:30pm, several demonstrators were arrested, and the governor called on the National Guard at the request of city leaders.
Chauvin has been in custody since May and was being held at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, a maximum-security prison. He left this facility at 9:40am on Wednesday, was transferred to Hennepin County Jail to post bail, and left the jail at 11:22am. He posted a non-cash bond with conditions from Allegheny Casualty, a bond insurance company in California. His release is conditional on numerous points: he must stay in Minnesota until his trial in March (his next court date is March 8), surrender any guns he owns, not take any law enforcement job, and avoid all contact with the Floyd family. The video depicting him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes was not his first incident – Chauvin has had seven prior incidents of neck or head and upper body restraint on people he has arrested, four of which prosecutors claim went too far.
Since Floyd’s death at the hands of Chauvin, we have witnessed protests across the globe, concrete changes to local policing policies, and a greater awareness of issues surrounding race and racism in our country. In regard to justice for Floyd specifically, all four officers involved have since been fired, and Chauvin will face at least 12 years in prison if he is convicted of unintentional 2nd-degree murder. He and his estranged wife are also facing multiple counts of tax evasion for supposedly lying about their income amounts.
Media Resources: NPR 10/7/20, CNN 10/7/20, CBS Minnesota WCCO 10/7/20, New York Times 10/7/20, Feminist Newswire 6/10/20